A number of treatments have been explored for reducing the functional deficits following ischaemic necrosis in the brain. Recent advances in the heart involving the use of stem cells suggested that this may be an option to explore in the treatment of cerebral ischaemia. In the April Stroke Jieli Chen and colleagues at the Henry Ford Health Sciences Center, Department of Neurology, Detroit, show that intravenous infusion of bone-derived marrow stromal cells (MSCs) can enter the brain and reduce neurological functional deficits after stroke in rats.

Chen et al studied the behaviour of rats with experimentally occluded middle cerebral artery that were treated with either 1x or 3x 106 MSCs and untreated controls. They found a significant recovery of somatosensory behaviour and Neurological Severity Score (p<0.05) in animals infused with 3x106 MSCs at one day or seven days compared with control animals (Stroke 2001,...

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